NCTE Announces Honorable Mention Christina Berchini for the 2017 National Intellectual Freedom Award
URBANA, ILLINOIS, 10-16-17 – Christina Berchini of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has been awarded one of two Honorable Mentions for the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. NCTE recognizes Berchini for her pledge to continue the conversation on race and racism in the face of hostile challenges.
The award selection committee notes:
Christina Berchini tackles head on the issues of our current sociopolitical climate and the need for conversations on race and racism. Her scholarship on ways in which White teachers’ identities are structured by the contexts and discourses of their schools is not only timely, it is imperative. As the teaching force remains largely White and students become increasingly multicolored, her work reveals how institutions reify specific racialized social norms. She raises public awareness of how the school organization is anything but benign, pointing out that schools shape educational practice to impose one set of cultural values and practices on multicultural students and teachers.
Berchini’s scholarship has often been met with visceral hostility—verbal personal attacks as well as those that call for her being removed from her teaching position. But these challenges do not stop her from continuing to write about this topic. Her pledge to continuing this conversation in the face of hostile challenges is clear evidence of her commitment to intellectual freedom.
The NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award honors individuals, groups, or institutions that merit recognition for advancing the cause of intellectual freedom. These awards are given in two categories: (1) a national Intellectual Freedom Award and (2) an NCTE affiliate-based award.
Christina Berchini will be announced as one of two recipients of an NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award Honorable Mention during the awards session on Saturday, November 18, at the 2017 NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis.
SAGA 6, a group of six students from Mount Horeb High School, Wisconsin, and their school and community advisors, also received on Honorable Mention. Joan Bertin, former executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, is the winner of this year’s award.
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